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Passive Solar Heating Panels - Page 2

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Posted by Morris Dovey on February 3, 2013, 11:17 pm
On 2/3/13 11:53 AM, j wrote:

I don't think I'm as close as I'd like to be - but future improvements
are likely to be in smaller increments.

Coating the back plenums with high gloss paint might make a significant
improvement to air flow. Back when I was building panels I didn't think
so, but I'm still learning - and think this worth trying.

The shape and spacing of the fins can almost certainly be improved, but
I think that'll need to be done by someone with the right combination of
physics/math/geometry skills - which I don't have. There's a gentleman
who lives in southern France who might be able to nail this down, but
all my contact info for him was lost when my old HP machine
self-destructed. :-(

There's a lot of room for exploration here. By the time I'd built my
last panel I'd realized that what I'd been calling an absorber shouldn't
/be/ an absorber - that's just the word everyone wants to hear. Ideally
it's purely a reflector. :-)

Now you're sounding a lot like me. :-) It turns out that there's a lot
of behavior that's best labeled counter-intuitive. My favorite joke on
myself was that my level of ignorance was colossal and growing at an
exponential rate!

I think this notion of (as much as possible) heating only the air is a
key concept. AFAICT a hot collector is necessarily a lossy collector.

It's just a forming press with a cutting blade on the infeed end. My
thought was to use a stepper to pull ribbon from the spool, an empty
spool to ballast a loop of ribbon, and another stepper to measure ribbon
from the loop into the press. A pair of LED/photodetectors would let the
controller sense when to feed from the spool and when to stop feeding
(all copied from some of the early computer tape devices). The inset
detail in the sketch shows the ribbon positioning I actually used with
my manual press.

(I'm imagining some very contented cats!)

Morris Dovey

Posted by j on February 5, 2013, 5:42 pm
On 2/3/2013 6:17 PM, Morris Dovey wrote:

OT for a moment...

My sewer line here is blocked, I've tracked it with great difficulty, by
digging and looking. It takes a right into my backyard and then another
right so it circles the house.

So, I found the line is blocked between the sidewalk and the street. So,
we dug down and struck... the new (and unused) gas line, 6" under that
the crushed sewer pipe.

I call the city at 3PM and they tell me to file a damage report with the
gas company. However at 5PM someone from the city shows up and says the
city will fix it by Sunday.

Just now, someone came out and marked the water and sewer lines, the
ones that I had no idea where. I've never seen anything like it, he had
a collapsible metal divining rod and just walked across the pavement. It
snapped to the side and he marked. In fact, he marked all the water and
sewer lines, just like that, in no time. And it matches exactly.

So, I am thoroughly impressed with the speed and psychic powers of this


It would seem so, the base heater designer is very good.

small increments, as you said.

Perhaps, re-radiator...

That makes sense.

  The inset

I'm struck by the amount off the shelf and cheap technology available.
And the Arduinos and the like to control them. Anything is possible,
parts you can't get you can send off to the 3D service bureau to get made.

Oh yeah, on a cold day it is "the" spot.


Posted by Morris Dovey on February 5, 2013, 9:44 pm
 On 2/5/13 11:42 AM, j wrote:

That /is/ impressive! Tell us the name of this exceptional city! :-)

See http://portabee3dprinter.com  - at under $00 for the kit I think I'd
prefer to be my own service bureau for all but precision parts, but I
think I'd be inclined to pay a bit more for the fully-assembled version.
The additive technology is moving toward the point where we should
(soon) be able to print circuit boards and houses.

I'm not sure you can actually have too much depth, but suspect that
there's a point of diminishing returns. I'm fairly sure that with my
(nominal) 8" panel depth, I hadn't reached it yet.

Morris Dovey

Posted by Morris Dovey on February 5, 2013, 10:24 pm
 On 2/5/13 3:44 PM, Morris Dovey wrote:


Morris Dovey

Posted by j on February 6, 2013, 11:48 pm
 On 2/5/2013 4:44 PM, Morris Dovey wrote:


Atlanta, Ga.

They were back out today marking the gas lines and the line into my
yard. Very colorful.

I used to get to get top notch garbage collection too, but I would leave
cold beers for them on hot days.

Trouble is that there are multiple techniques depending on the material,
and that printer is limited in what in can print (as are all).

I can't find the bookmark now, but there is a service bureau that
charges by the CC (no setup fee) and prints in a variety of plastics,
stainless steel, silver, ceramic and other materials. Seemed cheap
enough for small parts.

Not that I wouldn't want to do it here.

  but I

I watched the cement "printer". Unbelievable.

I test fired up one of the solar hot water collectors today for a while.
The box holds 4, ~ 80SF with each single collector ~ 2' x10'. I just
recycled water from a 5 gallon bucket.

It leveled off at ~ 120F, I think if the lines and bucket were insulated
it would do better.  I'll run some more tests... With water it is easy
to calculate how many BTUs are produced, unless you are Rossi...


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